North Tyrone duo looking forward to the European stage

TYRONE will be well represented in Gran Canaria as the final round of the European Rally Championship gets underway today.
Fintona’s Aaron Johnston will again co-drive for Oliver Solberg as the pair target the overall continental crown, but further down the seedings are a handful of locals who are looking forward to the big stage and taking part in Rally Islas Canarias.
With rallying all but written off in Ireland throughout 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Dromore’s Cathan McCourt, Victoria Bridge’s Jason Mitchell and Castlederg’s Gareth Sayers have taken the opportunity to see some stage time this year.
Granted, they have had to go all the way to the Canary Islands to do so, but given the weather forecast of 24 degrees and sunshine, that’s no bad thing!
For Cathan and Jason, competing on the European stage isn’t anything new. Mitchell rallied in Belgium last month and McCourt competed in a round of the ERC at Rally Liepaja in Latvia in August.
And while being part of the European Rally Championship service park won’t cause Cathan any concerns, he and co-driver Barry McNulty will have a new car – a Mk II Ford Fiesta R5 – to get used to, while Mitchell, who will have Dunamanagh’s Peter Ward on the notes, will run his trusty Mk I version.
Meanwhile, the third member of the Tyrone contingent heading south, Sayers, who will be assisted by Liam McIntyre for the second time, is preparing for a huge leap into the unknown – so much so it’s keeping him up at night!
“This will be the biggest event I will have done and I can’t wait for it, I can’t even sleep at night!” he exclaimed.

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